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PROPHET ISMAIL


Ismail (Peace be upon Him) was the elder son of Ibrahim (Peace be upon Him) born to Hajar (Peace be upon Her). He is also known as Abul Arab, the patriarch of the Arabs. The last of the messengers of Allah , the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (May Allah honor Him and grant Him peace) was born in the clan of Quraish who descended from Ismail (Peace be upon Him) and were amongst the most powerful people of Arabia.

 

Table of Contents

 

Ismail (Peace be upon Him) and his mother(Hajar)

Ibn Abbas (R) narrated: "The first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ishmael (Peace be upon Him). She (Peace be upon Her) used a girdle so that she might hide her tracks from Sarah (Peace be upon her) [by dragging it]. Ibrahim (Peace be upon Him) brought her and her son Ishmael (Peace be upon Him) while she was suckling him to a place near the Kaba under a tree on the spot of ZamZam at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Makkah, nor was there any water so he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates and a small water skin containing some water and set out homeward.

 

Ismael's mother (Peace be upon her) followed him saying: "O Ibrahim! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything to enjoy?" she repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her. Then she asked him : "Has Allah ordered you to do so?" He said:‘Yes’ She then said: "Then He will not neglect us," and returned while Abraham (peace be upon Him) proceeded onwards. On reaching the Thaniya where they could not see him, he faced the Kaba and raising both hands, invoked Allah (Glory be to Him) saying the following prayers:  "O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House (Kaba at Makkah) in order, O our Lord that they may offer prayer perfectly.So fill some hearts among men with love towards them,and O Allah provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks" Qur’an.Surah Ibrahim 14:37 inSahih Al Bukhari Vol : 4 H : 583,584.

 

Ibn Abbas's (R) narration continued; "Ismael's mother (Hajar) went on suckling Ishmael and drinking from the water (she had) When the water in the water skin had been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty, She started looking at him (Ishmael) tossing in agony. She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of As-Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She too on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended for As Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble till she crossed the valley and reached the mountain of Al Marwa. There she stood and started looking expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that running between Safa And Marwa seven times." Sahih Al Bukhari Vol : 4 H : 583,584.

 

Water of ZamZam

The Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honor Him and grant Him peace) said: "This is the source of the tradition of the Sa'y (rituals of the hajj, pilgrimage) the going of people between them (As-Safa and Al-Marwa). When Hajar (Peace be upon Her) reached Al Marwa (for the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said: "O whoever you maybe! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?" And behold! She saw an angel (Jibril Ameen) at the place of Zam zam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing) till water flowed from that place. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her hand in this way, and started filling her water skin with water with her hands and the water was flowing out water she had scooped some of it." The Prophet Muhammad  added: "May Allah bestow mercy on Ishmael's mother! Had she let the zam-zam flow without trying to control it, or had she not scooped from that water to fill her water skin, Zam zam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth." Sahih Al Bukhari Vol  4 : 582,583,584.

 

The Founding of the City of Makkah

The Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honor Him and grant Him peace) continued: "Then Hajar (Peace be upon Him) drank water and suckled her child. The angel said to her: "Don't be afraid of being neglected, for this is the House of Allah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never neglects His people." The House (Kaba) at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left. "She lived in that way till some people from the tribe of Jurhum or a family from Jurhum passed by her and her child as they (the Jurhum people) were coming through the way of Kada. they landed in the lower part of Makkah where they saw a bird that had the habit of flying around water and not leaving it. they said: "this bird must be flying around water, though we know that there is no water in this valley." They sent one or two messengers who discovered the source of water and returned to inform them of the water. So they all came towards the water. Ishmael's mother (Peace be upon her) was sitting near the water. They asked her: "Do you allow us to stay with you?" She replied: "Yes, but you will have no right to possess the water." They agreed to that. Ishmael's mother (peace be upon Him) was pleased with the whole situation, as she used to love to enjoy the company of the people, so they settled there, and later on they sent for their families who came and settled with them so that some families became permanent residents there. The child (Ishmael) grew up and learned Arabic from them and (his virtues) caused them to love and admire him as he grew up and when he reached the age of puberty they made him marry a woman from amongst them." Sahih Al Bukhari Vol 4 : 583,584.

 

Ibrahim (Peace be upon Him) Sacrifices Ismail (Peace be upon Him)

Ismail (Peace be upon Him) was only nine when his father Ibrahim (peace be upon Him) saw in a dream, that he sacrificed his only son to please Allah .  On seeing the same dream on three consecutive nights, he told Ismail (Peace be upon Him) about it.  Ismail (Peace be upon Him) replied that it must be a test from Allah (Glory be to Him) to test their wills, and he was willing to be sacrificed in the way of Allah .  Ibrahim (peace be upon Him) took his son Ismail (Peace be upon Him) to Mina, laid him on the ground, and tied his arms and legs with a cord.  As he placed his knife on the throat of his son, the Archangel Jibril (peace be upon Him) appeared and announced that the test of their ultimate submission to Allah  was complete.  Just then, by the Grace of Allah (Glory be to Him), a healthy lamb appeared there to be sacrificed in place of Ismail (Peace be upon Him).  Ibrahim (Peace be upon Him) was given the happy tiding that Allah (Glory be to Him) was pleased with them, and their position would be elevated.  Ibrahim (Peace be upon Him) was also given the happy news of another son, Ishaq (Peace be upon Him).

 

Allah (Glory be to Him) the Almighty told us of Ibrahim's (Peace be upon Him) affliction with his beloved son: "And he said after his rescue from the fire: 'Verily! I am going to my Lord. He will guide me! My Lord! Grant me (offspring) from the righteous." So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy. And when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: "O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you(offer you in sacrifice to Allah), so look what do you think!" "O my father! Do that which you are commanded Insha’Allah (if Allah wills), you shall find me of the patient." Then when they had both submitted themselves to the Will of Allah and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (or on the side of his forehead for slaughtering); and We called out to him: "O Ibrahim! You have fulfilled the dream (vision!" Verily! Thus do Wereward those who perform good deeds, totally for Allah's sake only. Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial and We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (a ram;) and We left for him ( a goodly remembrance) among generations (to come) in later times. " Peace be upon Ibrahim!" Thus indeed do We reward the Muhsineen (good doers). Verily, he was one of Our believing slaves.Qur’an.Surah Ibrahim 14:37.

 

This act of the great prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon Him) and his son Ismael (Peace be upon Him) became an essential part of Hajj for all times, and is celebrated a day before the annual Eid al-Adha'.

 

The Kaba was Built

Ibraham (peace be upon Him) stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah (Glory be to Him) wished and called on them afterwards. He saw Ismael (Peace be upon Him) under a tree near Zam Zam, sharpening his arrows. When he saw Ibrahim (peace be upon Him), he rose up to welcome him (and they greeted each other as a father does with his son or a son does with his father). Ibrahim (peace be upon Him) said: 'O Ishmael! Allah has give me an order.' Ishmael (peace be upon Him) said: 'Do what your Lord has ordered you to do.' Ibrahim (peace be upon Him) asked: 'Will you help me?' Ishmael (peace be upon Him) said: 'I will help you.' Ibrahim (peace be upon Him) said: 'Allah has ordered me to build a house here,' pointing to a hillock higher than the land surrounding it.

 

"Then they raised the foundations of the House (the Kaba). Ishmael brought the stones while Ibrahim (peace be upon Him) built and when the walls became high Ishmael (peace be upon Him) brought this stone and put it for Ibrahim (peace be upon Him) who stood over it and carried on building. While Ismael (peace be upon Him) was handing him the stones, and both of them were saying: "Our Lord! Accept this service from us, verily, You are the All Hearer, the All Knower." Qur’an.Surah Baqara 2:127.

 

The Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honor Him and grant Him peace) added: "Then both of them went on building and going round the Kaba saying: "O our Lord! Accept this service from us, verily, You are the All Hearer, the All Knower." Sahih Al Bukhari Vol : 4 H : 583,584.

 

The Trial of Ibrahim by Allah

Ismail was only nine when his father Ibrahim saw in a dream, that he sacrificed his only son to please Allah. On seeing the same dream on three consecutive nights, he told Ismail about it. Ismail replied that it must be a test from Allah to test their wills, and he was willing to be sacrificed in the way of Allah. Ibrahim took his son Ismail to Mina, laid him on the ground, and tied his arms and legs with a cord. As he placed his knife on the throat of his son, the Archangel Jibril (Gabrial) appeared and announced that the test of their ultimate submission to Allah was complete. Just then, by the Grace of Allah, a healthy lamb appeared there to be sacrificed in place of Ismail. Ibrahim was given the happy tiding that Allah was pleased with them, and their position would be elevated. Ibrahim was also given the happy news of another son, Ishaq.

 

References

Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Stories of the Prophets by Ibn Kathir

 

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